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Monday, March 25, 2013

Like tea? Better vote no on fluoride.

We're voting no on adding fluoride to Portland's water. It will do more harm than good. People who aren't getting enough fluoride should brush their teeth. Without good oral hygiene, you're going to have bad teeth, no matter how much of that crap the city pumps into the water supply. If we want to improve dental health, let's hand out free toothpaste, toothbrushes, and floss.

The health arguments against fluoride are presented capably elsewhere, and we won't repeat them here. But there are some important political arguments as well. For example: Forced medication through the water supply? No thanks. Most importantly, we're voting no because this whole proposal is one of the last in the long series of Randy Leonard-Sam Adams middle fingers to the residents of Portland, who already voted fluoride down once and shouldn't have to keep fighting this battle. And after trying unsuccessfully to ram the deal home without a public vote, Mutt and Jeff even managed to rig the date of the election to try to force their will on the voters.

To sell their plan, they're wheeling in the oily huckster Mark Wiener, who will soon be mailing us photos of poor, little black children -- the same kids they used to sell the unconstitutional city arts tax for the ballet and the opera. The same kids they used to sell us Erik Sten. Never was there a better reason to vote no on any proposition. These people could care less about your teeth -- one of the water bureau's shadowy pals will make some nice bucks off this, that's all.

And if that weren't enough, along comes this story. If you drink tea, you're already getting a bunch of fluoride -- and if you overdo it, it could make you sick, even without getting that chemical forced down your throat with every other contact with what comes out of the tap:

Most published studies about black tea traditionally have used a method of measuring fluoride that doesn't account for the amount that combines with aluminum to form insoluble aluminum fluoride, which is not detected by the fluoride electrode. Whitford compared that method with a diffusion method, which breaks the aluminum-fluoride bond so that all fluoride in the tea samples can be extracted and measured.

He tested seven brands of store-bought black tea, steeping each for five minutes in deionized water, which contains no fluoride. The amount of fluoride in each sample was 1.4 to 3.3 times higher using the diffusion method than the traditional method.

Portlanders, please vote with your brains on this one. The scientists telling you that fluoride is harmless sound an awful lot like the ones who prescribe pills before really knowing what their side effects are. Don't be their guinea pigs.

Comments (17)

I too will be voting no on Fluoride, if I want chemicals in my water, like scotch, I'll add it myself.

Also just in 'Monsanto Protection Act' passed the senate budget bill as an addendum. If what Monsanto adds to our food supply and it kills up, too bad there is nothing we can do.

Is there any legal precedence for forced medication being illegal?

I thought the highest requirement for healers, is "do no harm".

How can any medical authority endorse the well documented risks and issues of putting the industrial waste version of flouride in our public water?

Are there no doctors that put ethics above politics?

All good reasons to vote no. One more that many many of us can relate to:

I really enjoy your blog and will miss it when it goes on hiatus. But I hope you're preference loses out, and we get a majority 'yes' vote. Saying no to fluoride is one of those 'keep Portland weird' things that just doesn't make sense. The evidence for its' benefits is pretty overwhelming. I appreciate the libertarian political arguments against it (e.g., lets not force people to do something they don't want), but I think the real public health benefits just plain outweigh that political preference. I wish we had some better representatives that Sam-Rand to lead the charge on this, but it is here now so I think we should embrace it. Let's see what the voters have to say....

The woman made herself sick drinking water with 100 to 150 tea bags. This would have about 300 times the fluoride concentration as drinking water. It doesn't make sense to compare the two.

This is the first case of skeletal fluorosis in the U.S. in 32 years. You really need to go to extraordinary means to be at risk for this disease.

I am all about looking at the potential risks of different policies, but to use this woman's case as a reason to think that fluoride at the recommended level is bad doesn't make any sense.

For example, this person died of drinking too much water:

That doesn't mean people should stop drinking water.

Not only would all Portland Water Bureau customers be practically forced to consume fluoride, including those who would not benefit from it, each person would be running it through their internal organs just to get some of it on their teeth. I would rather people apply fluoride just locally, to their teeth. There is more to oral health than just fluoride, and I favor spending money on oral health education, toothbrushes, fluoride toothpaste, and floss. It seems education could make a big difference.

The evidence for its' benefits is pretty overwhelming.

Where is that evidence? Burden of proof that this is not harmful in ANY way should be evident and I doubt any studies have been done in that regard to prove it beneficially healthy for people. Remember that what may be for teeth? - may be devastating for the body. . . so for those who want this product, this can be applied topically. Schools already provide fluoride for those children in need/want. Doses cannot be measured and apparently are for adults and not for infants. I shudder to think of having to shower in this . . . what happens to a baby being bathed with fluoridated water?
"Here in Toronto we've been fluoridating for 36 years. Yet Vancouver - which has never fluoridated - has a cavity rate lower than Toronto's." --Dr. Hardy Limeback, B.Sc., Ph.D., in Biochemistry, D.D.S., head of the Department of Preventive Dentistry for the University of Toronto, and president of the Canadian Association for Dental Research.

It doesn't make sense to compare the two.

It also doesn't make sense to separate the teeth from the body.

Jack, you've got to have someone take your place (even if "they" did break the mold when you were hatched) to continue running this website. I and many others need our local and national political fix each day, sometimes even each hour.

As for fluoride, I thought of maybe a good voter pamphlet argument against fluoridating Portland's water: "Keep Portland weird by keeping its drinking water high altitude, pure Bull Run!"

But my passion is just not enough on this issue to push me into paying $400 or so for inclusion in Voter Pamphlet. The downside is if you want pure Bull H2O (it's not totally pure because there are some rather helpful chemicals in it presently, but maybe we can say pure if the folks driving around in so-called "zero emission" cars are accepted as such.), you can buy a $600 filter to remove the fluoride if fluoridation should pass this May.

Does anyone know the cost of fluoridation vs. the cost of providing fluoride to anyone who wants it?

Adulterating everyone's clean drinking water with fluoride added (and telling those who are unable to tolerate it -- and the poor who cannot afford it -- to just buy filters or bottled water) is not a sensible remedy for lousy or neglected or ignorant oral hygiene.

Because dentists and doctors are poor educators, they foist crap like that on everybody, and excuse the problems as statistically not significant enough for them to stop their shilling for the chemical industry. Obviously, Portland Public Schools are doing a lousy job, too.

Lousy or neglected oral hygiene causes serious and fatal health problems that are a lot worse than dental caries. For example:

Oral bacteria antibodies linked to pancreatic cancer (Oct. 13, 2011)

Oral Bacteria May Signal Pancreatic Cancer Risk (Spet. 18, 2012)

Bacterial infection as a cause of cancer

Forcing fluoride on people who must avoid it for health reasons but who can't afford expensive home filtration systems or buying bottled water is inequitable.

If tea contains fluoride then why do the British have such lousy teeth?

I guess they must put a lot of sugar in their tea.

"Let's see what the voters have to say.."
We already have spoken and the answer was no.
Why is it some who think they know what is good for everyone else just won't take NO, for an answer ?

The Admiral put his home in Lents up for sale and said he was going to move to the country. One wonders if he is gulping down fluoride with every drink in his open space digs far away from the high density and bunkers he forced all us city dwellers to live with.

I will add I think I am justifiably angry that some people think they can force others to swallow this product. Looks like a complete lack of respect for individual choice here and I question why so many simply would not care about the right of a person's choice to be medicated or not!
The reasoned adults of our community need to stand up for the science on this for the children of our community. The children have no say here and in my opinion if there is any possibility of harm or doubt about what this byproduct of industrial fertilizer does to the body, a NO vote should be given.
I guess an easy sell for marketing to show bad teeth and get the people engaged to "it's for the children" again. How many times has "it's for the children" been used?

Thanks Mike (and others). I already have compromised kidneys. So, if Bull Run gets fluoride I'm going to have to buy bottled water. An expense I don't need. Nor do the other thousands of kidney compromised people in this area, many of whom live below the poverty level.
Thanks for all the years Mr. B. Wish you well in your new endeavors. Gonna miss your 'smart ass'. Maybe you could persuade Bill McD or P Stanford to do their own blogs?


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